By Nicholas Grube

Triplicate staff writer

A former Pelican Bay State Prison employee charged with having sex with three inmates while working at the facility will serve 30 days in jail and remain on probation for the next three years.

Bonnie S. Freeman, 51, was sentenced Thursday in Del Norte Superior Court. She pleaded guilty in May to one felony count of engaging in oral copulation and sexual intercourse with an inmate from April to June 2006.

Freeman, who was a supervising cook at Pelican Bay, originally was charged with having sexual relations with three different inmates from April 2006 to February of this year. But not all of her relationships were confined within the maximum security facility's walls.

Investigators found that Freeman held a relationship with one of the inmates after he was paroled from the prison. They also had as evidence recorded telephone conversations, receipts and statements from prisoners that linked her to at least one of the inmates.

Freeman could have faced up to three years in prison, but because she pleaded and had a clean record, she received the lighter sentence.

andquot;I'd put out that my client is 51 (years old), and this will never happen again,andquot; Freeman's attorney James Fallman said. andquot;And I believe this is her first offense ever.andquot;

Officials from Pelican Bay State Prison were unavailable for comment.

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